Telstra News |

Embracing the future with bold leadership, courage and compassion

By Andrew Penn October 15, 2021

Clear and bold leadership

Recently at Telstra we announced a new strategy, T25, setting out bold aspirations. We were very specific on our strategic objectives and the targets we aspire to achieve.

At a time when many companies are becoming more conservative and less definitive regarding their strategic direction and financial guidance, we did the opposite. That’s because we believe that when the future seems the most unclear as it does today, that’s when people need a strong sense of direction. Our job as leaders is to provide that, even when we are uncertain ourselves.

Confronting reality

As a nation as we near our vaccination targets and see the green shoots of re-opening, we need to create a sense of confidence that we are committed to and prepared for this next stage. We need to talk courageously about what the reality of living with COVID permanently and more prevalently in our society means.

We need to show that we are building the resilience we will need. This will build confidence that we are prepared for this future.

People are not naïve. They know there are no guarantees and there will be challenges ahead. What they expect to see however, is a sense of confidence, a sense of direction, something to reassure them we are committed to the path forward.

This week those in NSW are celebrating some renewed freedoms – and rightfully so. Hopefully it will be a milestone all Australians experience soon. There is still confusion and uncertainty across states, with differing timeframes and restrictions. That is why unity is so important. Many of us operate national businesses that need to provide critical services to customers across borders.

And we can’t expect government to do all the heavy lifting – business and community leaders have a role too. That’s why Telstra is incentivising our teams and customers to be vaccinated.

Showing compassion and tolerance

We are also requiring our teams in NSW and Victoria before they return to the office and our frontline teams in roles nationally where they come in regular contact with customers and colleagues, to be fully vaccinated. Their safety and wellbeing and that of our customers and the communities we serve is our highest priority.

I know not everyone agrees with our approach and I respect alternative points of view. I also know that it will be our frontline teams that will bear the brunt of any tension and aggression that can sometimes go with alternative views.

We are doing the right thing by our people and customers in requiring vaccinations and we are following the advice of government by allowing only vaccinated people into our NSW stores until December. We trust our people will be shown compassion and tolerance when simply doing their jobs and following the rules.

A time for hope

As the end of 2021 comes sharply into view, we sit on the cusp of an incredibly important inflection point. The point at which we will start to see the majority of COVID related restrictions behind us and a time at which we need to accept COVID will be a permanent feature of our society, at least for the foreseeable future.

It’s a time for clear leadership, for courage and compassion – not just from governments but business and community leaders too, so we can together create a sense of hope and some light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel.

Telstra News |

Telstra and COVID-19: what you need to know

By Telstra News October 12, 2021

The evolving situation around COVID-19 means we want to keep you updated as quickly as possible on impacts to our business as well as any new policies for our people and customers. We’ll post updates relating to COVID-19 here when they’re available.

Last updated: Tuesday 12 October

All NSW Stores open

Monday, 11 October

After months of lockdown we’re welcoming customers back to our New South Wales stores.

From today, people who are fully vaccinated will be able to access our store network for sales, services and advice. We’re operating our NSW stores in line with the Government health orders.

We’ve taken a lot of steps to ensure a safe reopening – sanitising stations, PPE for staff, plexiglass in customer service areas and clear signage to show social distancing measurements and capacity limits. Customers must also sign in with the QR code and wear their masks instore.

Supporting the ACT through lockdown

Friday, 13 August

Following a COVID case in the region, the Australian Capital Territory will go into a one-week lockdown.

Our stores will stay open, however, to support your essential connectivity needs.

The stores that are open will trade at reduced hours of tktktk for the duration of the week-long lockdown.

We ask that you only visit our stores for essential purposes, and follow COVID guidelines currently in place.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

We’re staying open to support Victoria through lockdown

Thursday, 5 August

The announcement of a snap seven day lockdown for the state of Victoria means we’re changing some of our store hours. To support your essential connectivity needs, the majority of our stores will stay open, albeit at reduced hours.

All of our stores will remain open, with the exception of Melbourne Central and Exhibition Street. The stores that are open will trade at reduced hours of 10am – 5pm for the duration of the week-long lockdown.

We ask that you only visit our stores for essential purposes, and follow COVID guidelines currently in place.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Reopening some Queensland stores with reduced hours

Monday, 1 August

Following ongoing COVID restrictions in Queensland, we are reopening some of our stores for essential interactions.

Our stores in the 11 locked-down local government areas will reopen with reduced trading hours of 10am-3pm.

We ask that you only visit our stores for essential purposes, and follow COVID guidelines currently in place.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

We’re closing some Queensland stores temporarily

Saturday, 31 July

New restrictions announced as part of a snap three-day lockdown mean that we will be temporarily closing some Queensland stores.

In light of the situation, all of our Telstra-owned stores in the state will close from 2pm today, and remain closed on Sunday 1 August. We will reassess the situation for potential trade on Monday 2 August, and provide another update at this time.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Changing hours in our South Australian stores

Wednesday 21 July

Following state government directions, Level 5 restrictions are now in place in South Australia.

As a result, our stores will be changing their hours. Most stores in South Australia are open, but operating with reduced hours.

Normal COVID safety precautions are in place, and customers are advised to call ahead and check that their store is open.

Find your closest store’s opening hours using our Store Finder. If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

An update on our Greater Sydney stores

Saturday 17 July, 2021

As a result of new restrictions introduced by the NSW Government, our Telstra owned stores will close tomorrow before opening on Monday for contactless call and collect services.

We’re working through the impact to our Telstra owned stores in the Bankstown, Canterbury, Fairfield and Liverpool local government areas as a results of tighter stay at home orders for these areas.

We have shared our plans with our Telstra licensee store owners and will support these stores to provide call and collect services where possible.

Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVIDsafe guidelines in store. The majority of our stores are operating at reduced hours and we thank all our customers for the patience and understanding.

We will provide a further update on our retail network on Monday 19 July.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Reducing our store hours in Victoria

Thursday 15 July, 2021

Following news of a five-day lockdown in Victoria, we’ll be changing the hours and services at our stores across the state.

Our stores will be open, however only for call-and-collect orders by appointment.

Find your closest store’s opening hours using our Store Finder. If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Responding to Alice Springs’ lockdown

Wednesday 30 June, 2021

Alice Springs has entered a 72-hour lockdown following confirmation of positive COVID-19 cases in the area.

The lockdown is effective from 1pm ACST, 30 June, and will last for 72 hours. As a result, all of our branded stores in the area will close during this time.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Updated Monday 5 July: The NT Government is lifting lockdown restrictions for the Alice Springs region following the 72-hour lockdown. As a result, we are reopening our stores.

We ask that all of our customers comply with the government-issued health advice. Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-safe guidelines in-store.

New restrictions in Queensland

Tuesday 29 June, 2021

The QLD Government has announced that from 1am Tuesday 29 June for the next two weeks in the local government areas (LGAs) of Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Morton, Brisbane, Gold Coast, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley and Somerset, you must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave your home.

Masks must be worn in indoor spaces such as shopping centres, public transport, hospitals, aged care facilities, churches and workplaces where you can’t physically distance. This includes in our Telstra-branded stores in the above LGAs.

We’ll have enhanced COVIDSafe measures in place, including the requirement for everyone to wear a mask in store at all times (unless a medical exemption applies).

Find your closest store’s opening hours using our Store Finder.

Updated Monday 5 July: The QLD Government is lifting restrictions for the affected LGAs. As a result, our stores are back to normal operating hours.

We ask that all of our customers comply with the government-issued health advice. Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-safe guidelines in-store.

Closing some of our Western Australian stores

Tuesday, 29 June, 2021

Following the announcement of new COVID-related restrictions in Western Australia, we will be making changes to the opening hours of our stores in the Perth and Peel regions.

Restrictions will be in place from 12:01am WST, Tuesday 29 June and end 12:01am WST, Saturday 3 June, provided restrictions are not extended during this time.

As a result of these restrictions, all of our Telstra branded stores in the Perth and Peel region will close during this time.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Temporarily closing our Northern Territory stores

Monday, 28 June 2021

The NT government has extended lockdown restrictions for residents from Darwin, Palmerston and Darwin rural areas until 1pm Friday 2 July.

As a result, our stores in the area will remain closed until restrictions have been lifted.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

An update on our Greater Sydney stores

Saturday, 26 June 2021

The NSW State Government has announced new COVID lockdown measures for the state.

This lockdown will be in place from 6pm, 26 June to 11:59pm, Friday 9 July. The lockdown applies to Greater Sydney, which includes the Blue Mountains; Central Coast, and Wollongong areas.

As a result, we’ll be making some changes to the way our stores operate in these areas. Telecommunications is a critical service, so we will be keeping our stores open in a limited capacity.

The majority of our branded stores will trade at reduced hours for the duration of the lockdown, and we’ll be open from 10am to 4pm. We’ll have enhanced COVIDSafe measures in place, including the requirement for everyone to wear a mask in store at all times (unless a medical exemption applies).

Find your closest store’s opening hours using our Store Finder.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Temporarily closing some Victorian stores

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Our South and Port Melbourne stores are currently closed pending a deep clean and COVID testing for our team.

We are also working closely with DHHS to ensure contact tracing can be done for customers.

An update on our Victorian stores

Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Victorian State Government has today announced new COVID-related lockdown measures for the state.

This lockdown will be in place until 11:59pm on June 3, unless extended by the State Government.

As telecommunications are a critical service, we will keep our stores open in a limited capacity to serve our customers.

The majority of our branded stores in Victoria will trade at reduced hours for the next 7 days. We’ll be open from 10am-5pm, with our team implementing strict COVID protocols.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

An update on our Greater Sydney stores

Thursday, 6 May 2021

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today announced new COVID-related safety measures for the Greater Sydney region (which includes Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains).

From 5pm on 6 May, all visitors to indoor venues will be required to wear a face mask until at least Monday 10 May (unless you have a lawful reason not to).

Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-safe guidelines in-store.

We’re temporarily closing some stores in Perth metro and Peel

Friday, 23 April 2021

With a three-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown coming into effect in Perth and Peel, Western Australia, we are temporarily closing our retail stores in these areas.

These closures are effective from 12:01am, Saturday 24 April in the Perth and Peel regions.

If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Updated Monday 26 April: The WA Government is lifting lockdown restrictions for Perth and the Peel region from midnight on 26 April, 2021. As a result, we are reopening our stores. We ask that all of our customers comply with the WA Government advice to wear a mask at all times when you leave home (unless you have a lawful reason not to). Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-safe guidelines in-store.

Temporarily closing our stores across Victoria

Friday, 12 February 2021

Given the new restrictions announced by the Victorian state government today as part of a five-day ‘circuit breaker’ period, we are temporarily closing our retail stores across Victoria.

These closures will be effective from 11:59pm tonight until further notice. During this time, we won’t be able to operate our contactless pickup service for any purchases. If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

Updated Wednesday, 17 February: Our stores across Victoria will reopen from tomorrow with regular opening hours. To find your nearest Telstra store you can use our store finder, and remember to book an appointment to avoid any queues.

Temporarily closing our Perth metropolitan, Peel and South West region stores in WA

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Given new restrictions announced by the Western Australia state government today, we are closing our stores in the Perth metropolitan area and across the Peel and South West regions of WA.

These closures will be effective from 6PM tonight until further notice. If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch, or use the My Telstra app on your smartphone.

An update to our Greater Brisbane stores

Tuesday, 12 January 2020

Our stores in Greater Brisbane have now resumed normal trading hours. Check the hours of your closest store on Telstra.com.

We ask that all of our customers comply with the Queensland government advice to wear a mask at all times when you leave home (unless you have a lawful reason not to). Our store staff will continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-safe guidelines in-store.

Reducing our store hours across Greater Brisbane

Friday, 8 January 2021

Given new restrictions announced by the Queensland state government today, our stores in the Greater Brisbane area (including Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands) will trade with reduced hours.

We’ll be open between 10am – 4pm from Saturday 9 January to Monday 11 January (inclusive).

We’ll have enhanced COVIDSafe measures in place, including the requirement for everyone to wear a mask in store at all times.

Temporarily closing our Warringah Mall store

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Today we’re temporarily closing our Telstra retail store in Westfield Warringah Mall. The health and safety of our people is our top priority so following advice from NSW Health we’ve asked our people from this store to get a test for Covid-19 and to isolate until they have a result. There has been no known exposure in our Telstra Store located in the Warringah Mall.

Our other Sydney stores remain open and continue to serve customers according to COVID-safe guidelines. We encourage you to only travel to a store if it is essential and abide by state health advisories at this time.

We know this is a difficult time for Sydney and the Northern Beaches area, and we thank you for your patience.

Temporarily closing our stores in South Australia

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Following the six-day COVID lockdown announced today by the South Australian state government, all our Telstra branded retail stores across SA will be closed from midnight tonight. If you need to contact us during this time, you can use our Contact Us page to get in touch with us online, or use the My Telstra app.

Updated Friday, 20 November 2020: Following state government advice, our stores in South Australia will re-open from Sunday.

Reopening our stores in Victoria

Friday, 30 October 2020

We’re pleased to welcome customers back to our Melbourne metro stores, which are now open for sales, service and advice – no need to make an appointment anymore (unless you want to).

Our stores will still be following standard COVID-safe procedures and we ask visiting customers to wear masks.

Enhanced cleaning – including access to hand-sanitiser and regular cleaning and sanitisation of devices – is still in place, along with plexiglass in customer service areas; effective floor management ensuring appropriate customer numbers in stores; physical distancing, and gloves for our teams.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

An update on our opening hours in Melbourne

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Most of our stores in metropolitan Melbourne have begun to reopen at this time for essential interactions.

To find your nearest store and its opening hours, see our Store Finder tool.

We’d like to remind our customers to socially distance, wear their masks and treat our team respectfully when in our stores.

Reopening some Victorian stores

Monday, 31 August 2020

Under current restrictions in Melbourne, residents must stay within a 5km radius of their home. We know this can be tough for some people looking for an in-person resolution to an essential issue or request.

That’s why we’re reopening 10 more retail stores in the metro Melbourne area for restricted trading, in addition to the 30 stores that were reopened on 7 August.

The 40 stores will be operating with reduced staffing levels six days a week (Monday – Saturday) from 10am to 2pm. Where there is demand, Telstra will extend the opening hours to 4pm. Please check with your local store on opening hours. These operating hours will be in place for the duration of the Stage 4 restrictions and will be by appointment only. Stores will also be maintaining strict health and safety guidelines.

Customers are asked to call their local store to make an appointment if they are experiencing an essential service issue only.

Once an appointment has been made with your local store, customers are asked to attend at the designated time with photo ID, and only if they are not experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms and have not come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Our team members will be wearing masks, observing social distancing, physical hygiene requirements and our customers must do the same when they visit.

From today, we will be reopening the following stores:

  • Point Cook
  • Brunswick
  • Rosebud
  • Parkmore
  • Plenty Valley
  • Caroline Springs
  • Pakenham
  • Doncaster
  • Northland
  • The Glen

We’re repurposing some Melbourne stores for essential services

Friday, 7 August 2020

Following further consultation with the Victorian Government and industry, we will be repurposing 30 of our stores in metropolitan Melbourne as contactless service centres for customers with essential service issues from Monday.

The stores will be operating with reduced staffing levels six days a week (Monday – Saturday) from 10am to 2pm. These operating hours will be in place for the duration of the Stage 4 restrictions and will be by appointment only.

Customers are asked to call their local store to make an appointment if they are experiencing an essential service issue only.

Essential services include the following:

  • SIM swap
  • New or replacement devices
  • Fixed internet connection and modems

Once an appointment has been made with your local store, customers are asked to attend at the designated time with photo ID, and only if they are not experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms and have not come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. Our team members will be wearing masks, observing social distancing, physical hygiene requirements and our customers must do the same when they visit.

We take our responsibility to be COVID-safe during this time extremely seriously. We understand the need to significantly reduce the risk of transmission in the community and are taking this obligation very seriously. We also understand it’s critical that customers are able to get online and stay connected during this difficult time.

That is why we have put in place these strict processes in order to help protect both our customers and our people.

The stores that will operate as service centres during this time are as follows (this list is subject to change):

  • Airport West
  • Altona Gate
  • Berwick
  • Box Hill
  • Chirnside Park
  • Craigieburn
  • Elsternwick
  • Fountain Gate (Level 1)
  • Hastings
  • Mornington
  • Northcote
  • South Melbourne
  • Sunbury
  • Victoria Gardens
  • Waverley Gardens
  • Werribee
  • Chadstone
  • Greensborough
  • Knox
  • Melbourne Icon
  • Southland
  • Camberwell
  • Epping
  • Frankston
  • Melton
  • Pakenham
  • The Pines
  • Eastland
  • Highpoint

Temporarily closing our metro Melbourne stores during Stage Four restrictions

Wednesday, 5 August, 2020

During this time of sustained and intensive transmission, the Victorian State Government has implemented Stage Four restrictions for Melbourne and Stage Three restrictions for regional Victoria. These restrictions have been implemented for a period of six weeks.

To comply with the current advice from the Victorian Government, we will be temporarily closing our retail and partner stores in metropolitan Melbourne from Thursday 6 August. This includes 60 Telstra-branded stores, 15 partner stores and a number of Telstra Business Technology Centres.

Our Telstra Store teams will move to work-from-home arrangements to assist our customer service teams in answering customer queries. We will be in touch with you if you were expecting to pick up a device from one of our metro Melbourne stores in the coming days. Meanwhile, we know that connectivity is vital when we’re all at home. That’s why we have a range of support available, including additional free data for fixed and mobile customers and free calls for pensioners.

If you’re one of those experiencing hardship, we urge you to get in touch with us via our Messaging service in the My Telstra app or through our Bill Assistance page. That way we can make sure you’re getting the right service and support for your needs.

We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, but Stage Four restrictions are not unprecedented. We successfully operated in Northern Tasmania during its Stage Four lockdown, working hard to support our customers and keep the community connected.

Thank you for your ongoing patience in what is a challenging time for us all.

We will look to temporarily close the following stores:

  • Chadstone
  • Doncaster
  • Eastland
  • Fountain Gate
  • Greensborough
  • Highpoint
  • Knox
  • Melbourne (Elizabeth St)
  • Melbourne (Exhibition St)
  • Melbourne Central
  • Melbourne Icon
  • Northland
  • Southland
  • The Glen
  • Telstra Licensed Store (TLS) Airport West
  • TLS Altona Gate
  • TLS Berwick
  • TLS Box Hill
  • TLS Broadmeadows
  • TLS Brunswick
  • TLS Camberwell
  • TLS Carlton
  • TLS Caroline Springs
  • TLS Chirnside Park
  • TLS Craigieburn
  • TLS Cranbourne
  • TLS Elsternwick
  • TLS Epping
  • TLS Forest Hill
  • TLS Fountain Gate (Level 1)
  • TLS Hastings
  • TLS Hawthorn
  • TLS Karingal
  • TLS Malvern
  • TLS Melton
  • TLS Moonee Ponds
  • TLS Mornington
  • TLS Northcote
  • TLS Pakenham
  • TLS Parkmore
  • TLS Plenty Valley
  • TLS Point Cook
  • TLS Port Melbourne
  • TLS Rosebud
  • TLS South melbourne
  • TLS Stud Park
  • TLS Sunbury
  • TLS The Pines
  • TLS Victoria Gardens
  • TLS Williamstown
  • TLS Dandenong
  • TLS Frankston
  • TLS Pop-Up Coburg
  • TLS Werribee
  • TLS Narre Warren Kiosk
  • TLS Brandon Park Kiosk
  • TLS Heidelberg Kiosk
  • Telstra Business Technology Centre (TBTC) Melbourne City
  • TBTC Melbourne East
  • TBTC Melbourne North West
  • TBTC Melbourne South
  • TBTC Victoria East
  • Telstra Business Centre (TBC) Mornington
  • TBC Bundoora

Supporting our customers in Victoria under increased COVID-19 restrictions

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

With increased COVID-19 restrictions around Melbourne metropolitan and regional Victorian areas, we want to help our affected customers stay connected – that’s why we’re offering our eligible consumer and small business customers in Victoria additional mobile data, as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. The offers will be available from Thursday 6 August.

Some changes for our teams supporting you in Victoria

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

In response to the ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, the Victorian Government has mandated that from midnight Wednesday 22 July, masks or face coverings will be mandatory for everyone in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire when you leave the house.

We have always said that the safety of our staff and our customers is paramount at this time. This remains unchanged. Our people working in this area, including in our stores, will be required to wear masks to comply with the state government’s directions.

We have already been distributing masks to our teams in the field and stores and we’re looking to increase this distribution to other key sites. We’re also investigating the use of cloth masks as an alternative and more environmentally-sustainable option in the long term.

We’ve also advised our team to refuse store entry to customers who are not wearing a mask (unless they meet the Government exemption criteria).

The use of masks isn’t new for our people who have stayed on the frontline and continued to do essential work. Throughout the pandemic, they have often needed to wear masks to meet public health requirements. Because of this, we already have well-established and appropriate safe work processes in place for our people.

As well as mask-use in our stores, we continue to take precautions we ask our customers to be mindful of.

Enhanced cleaning – including access to hand-sanitiser and regular cleaning and sanitisation of devices – is already in place, along with plexiglass in customer service areas; effective floor management ensuring appropriate customer numbers in stores; physical distancing, and gloves for our teams.

All team members unable to work due to COVID-19 will continued to be supported through our paid Pandemic Leave policy.

Our stores are here to help, and we encourage you to book an appointment ahead of time if you need in-person assistance.

An update on our Airport West store

Friday, 17 July 2020

One of our licensee stores in Airport West, Victoria has encountered a suspected case of COVID-19.

The store has been deep-cleaned overnight, and employees who may have been exposed are being isolated and tested out of an abundance of caution. The store is now open, however, we will provide further updates as they come to hand.

You can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Update: Testing has returned a negative result. This store is open for trading.

An update on our Mornington store

Thursday, 16 July 2020

One of our licensee stores in Mornington, Victoria has today been closed temporarily after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19.

Store staff are seeking testing and have been provided help under our Employment Assistance program.

The store is currently being deep-cleaned over the next 48 hours, and we look forward to welcoming customers back when it reopens.

In the meantime, you can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Providing assistance to Victorian residents in hard lockdown

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

We’re working with the Victorian Government on options to support residents of the nine buildings in lockdown in North Melbourne and Flemington.

We are providing unmetered data for fixed line customers until the end of August, 10GB of extra data for prepaid mobile customers and 25GB of extra data for post-paid customers in the buildings.

An update on our Victorian stores

Monday, 6 July 2020

Two of our licensee stores in Victoria – Altona Gate and Williamstown – have been closed temporarily after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19 at the Altona Gate store.

While there wasn’t workplace exposure in this instance, team members from both stores are self-isolating at home and will be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.

Both stores are currently being deep-cleaned and we look forward to welcoming customers back when they reopen and staff will come back once they meet all necessary clearances.

In the meantime, you can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020: Our licensee store at Altona Gate has now re-opened.

An update on our Bourke Street Telstra Store

Monday, 6 July 2020

As a priority, we want to help ensure the safety of both our customers and our Telstra Store staff. We’ve taken a number of steps to stay COVID-safe.

This is why our Telstra Discovery store on Bourke Street was closed on Friday afternoon (3/7) and remained closed over the weekend, after a staff member unfortunately returned a positive COVID test result.

Over the weekend, two more staff members also returned positive tests. The three team members are quarantining and other staff who worked with them are now self-isolating.

Rest assured, we’re working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to help in contact tracing customers who may have been in contact with the team members last week.

The store has received a deep clean over the weekend and will reopen today staffed by team members from other stores.

Again, the safety of our staff and customers is our number-one priority. As a result, we continue to take precautions we’d ask our customers to be mindful of.

Enhanced cleaning – including the provision of hand-sanitiser and regular wiping and sanitisation of devices – is already in place, along with plexiglass in customer service areas; effective floor management managing appropriate customer numbers in stores; social distancing, and gloves for our staff. All team members unable to work due to COVID will continued to be supported through our paid Pandemic Leave policy.

Our stores are here to help, and we encourage you to book an appointment ahead of time if you need in-person assistance.

Updated Thursday, 9 July 2020: One additional staff member at our Melbourne Discovery store has tested positive to COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home. More than 40 staff members tested have so far returned negative results. There is no change to our store operations – the Melbourne Discovery store remains open and trading.

We’re reopening selected stores

As COVID-19 restrictions ease in some states, most Telstra stores that were closed in March are set to re-open.

Read more about this story.

We’re helping bridge the gap with online learning

With the reality of social distancing setting in, schools across the country are doing a tremendous amount of work to provide online education resources for students and parents. We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to bridge the gap by providing 20,000 disadvantaged students and teachers across the country with internet access to educational content to support their online learning through the Department of Education and Catholic Education.

Read more about this story.

Making self-service easy with the new My Telstra app

To help you interact with us online more easily, we’re ramping up our digital capabilities as a priority – so you can get the help you need to get connected and stay connected. We’ve just launched our new My Telstra app which is designed to be a one-stop shop for all your Telstra needs. We have also created a number of self-service videos to help you with your basic service needs.

Read more about this story.

If you can #StayHome, you should

Friday, 27 March 2020

As we continue to work-from-home and practice good social distancing, we want to encourage others to join us in flattening the curve of COVID-19. That’s why you’ll see us change our network name on your mobile phone during this uncertain time to – Telstra #StayHome.

From today, when you look in the top corner of your Apple iOS device connected to the Telstra mobile network, you’ll see our new name: Telstra #StayHome. That’s because the best thing we can all do as individuals is stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.

Staying home is the best thing anyone who isn’t providing an essential service can do. Data from the University of Sydney demonstrates that the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed if people cut the vast majority of in-person interactions. That’s why we’ll be helping to share that crucial message, by reminding you to #StayHome on your phone with our new network name.

This new network name will appear on Apple iOS devices only for now and may require a network change (e.g. moving from 3G to 4G) or a change in location to trigger it.

To help support consumers and small businesses as we navigate this difficult time, we’ve introduced a range of initiatives including extra data for mobile and fixed broadband customers, and billing relief for those who need it.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Telstra (@telstra) on

Supporting small businesses through COVID-19

Thursday, 26 March 2020
Many small businesses across Australia are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. Australian small businesses are agile, we’ve always admired that about them, and we’ll see many of them adapt. But it’s important that the rest of Australia also gets behind them to support them through this challenging time. We’re showing our support by helping them adjust in a number of ways.

Read more about this story.

Issues with some voice calls connecting due to congestion

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

As more people work from home and schools close, we are seeing demand on our network increase daily and this will continue.

Overall mobile call volumes on certain routes and geographies are up by more than 50 per cent. Specific numbers to Government call centres are experiencing three times the call volumes compared to last week, and over 20 times the normal call volume.

As a result, we’re seeing congestion impacting a small proportion (3-4 per cent) of call on our mobile network, with most of the congestion being driven by the high number of calls to Government 13 and 1800 numbers. There is no impact on data as yet.

Working with Optus, we are also trying to fast-track upgrades to our interconnection capabilities which is contributing to this congestion and we are continuing to push for a resolution urgently with them.

Yesterday we made significant improvements to capacity and call routing on our network, which has allowed us to manage the significantly higher call volumes.

Delays getting in touch with us, and the best ways to get help

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our teams and partners in Australia and around the globe, we are prioritising our customer service activities toward maintaining critical services and keeping vulnerable customers connected. You will experience delays getting through to our customer service team and getting some issues fixed.

We understand how frustrating this is. We’re doing everything we can to find alternative solutions to improve things, but these are highly unusual circumstances, and this will take time.

Our call centres in Australia remain open, however with fewer people answering calls there are significant wait times. We are prioritising Medical Priority Assist, service faults and high-risk cases, so if your enquiry is not one of these, we ask that you please reconsider calling us at this time.

If your call is not urgent, please try one of the many self-service tools available on telstra.com.au, the Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps, or find answers in our Crowd Support community. We’ve created video guides to show how to use our apps to complete many common tasks like checking for an outage, troubleshooting issues with your service or managing your bills.

Placed an order with us recently?

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Whilst we may not be able to take your call right now, we are progressing your order and you can track it online. Have questions? Get help with how to track an order.

Telstra stores

The vast majority of our Telstra Stores are still open. You’re welcome to come in and talk with one of our team in person. Though, we ask that you only visit the store if you’re feeling well and do not meet any of the COVID-19 self-isolation criteria advised by the Australian Government.

nbn disconnections

With the support of nbn co and the ACCC, we have decided to temporarily pause the mandatory disconnections of customers from fixed networks under the nbn rollout. This will ensure customers that have not yet moved to the nbn can remain connected at a time when staying in touch is more important than ever.

As new restrictions come into place in Australia and around the world it is likely there will be more changes to the way we work. We’ll continue to keep you up to date as we learn more and put alternative solutions in place where we can.

Thank you for your ongoing patience in what is a challenging time for us all.

Changes to some of our stores

Saturday, 21 March 2020

We have already taken a number of steps to help keep our customers connected through what is a challenging time for all of us. We’re adding to that by making some precautionary changes to how we run our Telstra Stores to ensure we can continue serving you through this period.

Read more on this story.

We’re putting job reductions on hold, bringing forward 5G investment and more to help the economy

Friday, 20 March 2020

In these extraordinary times, it is in the national interest for every company and individual to play a part in ensuring Australia comes through as strongly as possible. With that in mind, we are announcing a range of additional initiatives we can undertake now to help support the broader economy.

Read more about this story.

A message from Andy Penn, CEO

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Get immediate help and support from the Telstra apps

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our customer service team, we’re prioritising calls from customers in most urgent need of help including Medical Priority Assist and high risk enquires.

We want to keep you supported and connected as best we can during this time.

Our Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps can help you look after your account. You can manage payments, monitor your usage, check for outages, track orders or troubleshoot issues with your broadband or mobile.

To make a purchase, visit telstra.com.au.

We may not be able to take your call

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Due to increased containment measures announced by the Philippines Government, Telstra’s contact centre workforce has been reduced. This means there are longer wait times for customers contacting us via phone or online messaging.

There is no impact to Triple Zero (000) emergency calls.

Our call centres across Australia and India continue to operate and take enquiries. We are prioritising Medical Priority Assist enquiries, as well as high risk cases. If your enquiry is not urgent and does not fall into one of these categories, please either contact us at another time, or you can self-service on Telstra.com.au or the Telstra 24×7 or My Telstra apps. We are providing further information on our website to assist you to manage other enquiries.

Our Telstra stores remain open for business, so you’re welcome to come in and speak to one of our team members. We take the safety of our people and customers very seriously and have robust hygiene standards in place in stores. We ask that our customers only visit the store if they’re feeling well and do not meet any COVID-19 self-isolation criteria advised by the Australian government, such as having recently returned from overseas or been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

We are working to increase our contact centre capacity in a number of ways including ramping up our working from home capabilities, increasing overtime and extra shifts for our Australian-based staff, and diverting sales calls to our stores. We know how frustrating this can be and that is why we are working to improve the situation, hoping to get to as many of you as possible. Thanks for your patience as we work through this.

Supporting our customers during COVID-19

Monday, 16 March 2020

As people around Australia increasingly begin working and studying from home or self-isolating as part of the national response to COVID-19 demand for connectivity is rising rapidly. To play our part, Telstra is giving our consumer and small business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. We want to help our customers, who find themselves having to work from home, stay connected.

Read more about this story.

How to improve your work-from-home experience

Sunday, 15 March 2020

As we move our office-based teams to a work-from-home model, we’re all thinking about how to be most productive in a new environment. We’ve been working flexibly at Telstra for a while, and have rounded up five great tips from our team that might make your experience easier.

Read more about this story.

Taking the right precautions for COVID-19

Friday, 13 March 2020

As governments and agencies around the world move to contain COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we’re also taking the right precautions to look after the wellbeing of our people.

With global events now unfolding very quickly, we’ve made the decision to move to full work from home arrangements for Australian-based office staff effective next week. These arrangements will remain in place until the end of March at a minimum.

Read more about this story.

Our steps to reduce transmission of COVID-19

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our people and customers. That’s why we’re taking sensible steps to ensure that the risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) exposure is limited. From today, we’ll look to limit exposure and transmission of the virus in our stores. We’re posting notices at our doors asking customers to reconsider the need to enter if they are a potential carrier of COVID-19.

We’ll be asking that those who have been, or suspect to have been exposed to someone with or suspected to have COVID-19 to refrain from entering, and if urgent, to call us on 13 22 00 or engage with our online team at telstra.com.au instead.

Similarly, we’re also asking that customers who have travelled to or transited through a Category 1 country – such as mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mongolia and Korea – to also reconsider the need to enter and instead engage with our phone or online support teams.

We’ve also implemented new procedures for our Field Service Technicians to ensure they’re adequately protected.

Our Technicians will now call a customer or end-user on approach and ask a series of mandatory questions before attending the premises.

Technicians will ask if the customer is unwell and if they suspect they’ve been exposed to someone who has or suspects to have COVID-19. Technicians will also ask if the customer or end-user is currently in quarantine due to having had contact with someone suspected of or diagnosed with COVID-19.

If a customer answers yes to any of these questions, our technicians will try to fix the issue from outside and if they are unable to complete the job it will be rebooked for 14-days later (after the quarantine period is over). We will work with customers to provide interim devices or alternative solutions so people remain connected.

These new notices and procedures will reduce the risk of transmission to a member of our team or to another customer.

While these measures are precautionary, we want to ensure we’re doing everything possible to protect our people by following Australian Government guidelines on reducing transmission of COVID-19.

Supporting our people during COVID-19

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

We’re making sure we look out for our people throughout the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. This includes new measures to minimise the risk of transmission, and additional support to reduce the potential financial burden for our people who may become impacted. So today we’re introducing a policy that will give our permanent, fixed-term and casual team members access to additional paid leave should they need to take time off work.

Read more about this story.

Telstra News |

Finding our #hope in COVID

By Andrew Penn September 2, 2021

Today at Telstra we announced a range of incentives for our customers to be vaccinated and a care package to support them while they are in lockdown. This is in addition to incentives we announced two weeks ago for our people. It’s important that as a business leader I do everything I can to encourage our customers and the Telstra team to get vaccinated – to keep ourselves and others safe and to give them hope that there is a pathway out of the severe lockdowns so many of us are facing.

As COVID restrictions grind on, I’m seeing a loss of hope across the 50,000 people that make up the team at Telstra, I am seeing a loss of hope with my friends and my family – a loss of optimism, an erosion of confidence. Each of us has our own stories of how COVID has impacted us personally.

A few months ago, and shortly after her 60th wedding anniversary, I lost my mum in the UK. Like many others, I had to farewell her over Zoom thousands of miles away and I have not been able to get back since to give my dad the hug we both so desperately need. My sister-in-law has been in and out of intensive care with COVID in the US and I have lost count of the number of times my daughter, who works in hospitality, has either lost her job or been stood down. These experiences will shape us for the rest of our lives – we need to make sure they do not become our lives.

As the CEO of Telstra, I am very used to receiving advice, invited or not, on how I should do my job! I get it every day, but I have made it my business to not do the same to others in leadership positions and I know I am no health expert. However, I do know the challenge of balancing conflicting priorities in complex situations, of responding to many and varied stakeholders, and changing opinions.

I also know, as leaders we have a role to play in providing hope and never before have I seen the need for that hope more so than I see it today. The Scottish author and editor Alexander Chalmers wrote in the age of enlightenment, “The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to”. At the moment, it’s very hard for people to find something to look forward to. We’ve got to change that and give people hope, but how?

An authentic conversation

I think the bottom line is people do not trust that even when we get vaccination rates to 70-80%, restrictions will be lifted in a meaningful way and that domestic and international travel will remain very challenging. Moreover, if that’s so, what is the end point, where is the light at the end of the tunnel and exactly how long is that tunnel?

To address this, we need to find the courage to be authentic about the issues holding us back. We need to talk more openly about what it means to live with COVID in our society without restrictions, including accepting infection rates will increase and health systems will come under pressure. Not fear these realities but come to terms with them and focus our efforts and communications on the strategies to manage and mitigate the consequences of them, as hard as they may be.

Australians have the strength of character to understand the reality of this pandemic – the human spirit can overcome just about anything when we are forced to confront it. So, let’s not hide from it, or run from it, let’s be authentic and face it head on and in so doing we will create the confidence that there is a path forward and give our people the hope that we will get through this and emerge stronger.

Balance the narrative

We need to move from a focus on the problems to the solutions and we need to have the courage to work out what is preventing us from opening up. If it’s our health systems, how do we come together and find solutions? What can business do, what can government do, what can community leaders do? How do we come together and work collectively with an eye to the solution and not just the problem? Without the courage to have these types of conversations and be open about where we don’t yet have answers, we risk a further erosion of trust and hope.

We need to better balance the focus of the narrative from what the problem is and why we need restrictions to how we get out of them and some of the realities we will have to face in so doing.

Let’s unite as leaders

And that is why a national plan is also so important, we need to align behind it in a nonpartisan way. I know there are differing views but now is the time to work through those views and commit to a plan that works going forward. And we can’t rely on just the government to do all the heavy lifting – business and community leaders have a role to play too and that is why we at Telstra are making the announcements we are making today, and made two weeks ago, with more to come.

I have no doubt some of the things we will collectively try won’t work or could be done better but let’s not persecute people for trying. These are unprecedented times and unprecedented events, at least in my lifetime.

#Hope

Against a drum beat of daily COVID case numbers and lockdowns, we also need to be cognisant about the mental health crisis so we can properly mitigate that toll too. We need to address the impact on remote indigenous communities and how we keep them safe. We need to consider the many other health conditions that are now not getting diagnosed or properly treated. We need to support the next generation and how we educate and train them for the future workforce when they’re learning has been so disrupted.

We need to focus on rebuilding hope and the sooner we do the better and that’s something in which we can all play a role.

Telstra News |

#LetsVaxx: our plan to reward customers

By Andrew Penn September 2, 2021

Restrictions have been part of our daily lives for far longer than I think any of us ever expected. It can be tough to feel that we’re not in control of the situation as individuals, but Australians have shown time and time again that we are capable of great things when we unite.

We need urgent action to get COVID under control, and that involves all of us coming together to get vaccinated. Doing this will make an incredible difference – it will help to protect each other, lessen the financial hardship on families, and reduce the toll on our wellbeing caused by the uncertainty and isolation from rolling lockdowns.

As a company, we can play a bigger role to encourage others to get the vaccine, and make that jab in the arm even more worthwhile.

To help out, we will be rewarding those who roll up their sleeves, and encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for the good of the nation.

Rewards for the vaccinated

If you have had your jab, we will also be giving your Telstra Plus points balance a shot in the arm.

From late September, fully vaccinated members of our Telstra Plus loyalty program will receive a bonus of 2,500 Telstra Plus points.

When claiming their points, fully jabbed members will also go into a 100 million point major prize draw, with 20 winners to receive five million Telstra Plus points each, as well as up to $3500 credit to help cover the cost of their eligible Telstra services for a year.

If you are not yet a member of Telstra Plus, you can join and access the 2,500 Telstra Plus point bonus before the end of January next year. Eligibility criteria apply.

For those who are already vaccinated, these offers are a thank you from us. For those who are yet to, we want to make that jab even more rewarding.

Keeping you going in lockdown

To help ease the burden and boredom of lockdowns, all our Telstra Plus members, regardless of their vaccination status, can soon claim a digital care package that includes a Telstra TV Box Office movie on us, discounts on a food delivery service and access to discounts in the Telstra Plus Rewards store.

This builds on the success we have had with our employee incentive program, with those who get fully vaccinated receiving the equivalent of $200 that can be redeemed through our employee rewards program. More than 5,500 people took up this offer in the first week alone.

Communicating loud and clear

We want every eligible Australian to remember to get vaccinated as soon as they can. That’s why, from today, when you look in the top corner of your iPhone where it used to say Telstra, it will now read Telstra #LetsVaxx. This message may take a little while to appear on your phone, but you can speed up the process by turning Airplane mode on and off.

And it’s not the first time we have changed our name during the pandemic. In March last year, we changed the network name to Telstra #StayHome. As the nation moved in and out of lockdown, and health guidance changed, we updated it to Telstra #StaySafe.

You are also going to see a new episode in our 5G Chief Investigator series, from our friend, Mark Humphries.

Mark’s sharp satire successfully busted conspiracy theories around 5G and now we are calling on him to help cut through the noise and debunk some of the COVID vaccination myths.

We know some of our customers may not choose to or be able to get vaccinated, but the results of our employee offer have shown there’s a groundswell of support and understanding that increasing the vaccination rate is our best way forward – and we feel it’s important to spread that message.

The endgame – creating a sense of hope

There’s no doubt that lockdowns have meant people are relying on our services more than ever before but we all know there’s nothing like coming together as a family to celebrate a birthday or catching up with friends in person.

To make sure we can do this, I believe all leaders can play a role by uniting behind an aligned approach to a pathway out. One that moves us beyond the problems preventing us from opening up, and instead focuses on the solutions.

We absolutely need a sense of hope right now and some light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel.

Telstra News |

The future of the workplace post-COVID-19 – the new normal isn’t coming, it’s here now

By Andrew Penn August 31, 2020

It is business, but it’s far from usual. COVID-19 has transformed our ideas about how and where we work and put flexibility, adaptability and technology at the heart of the workplace. The way we work and how successful businesses in the future will be defined has changed forever – here are three thoughts on how.

Firstly, there is no “normal” when it comes to the workplace, what matters is maximum flexibility.

We’re all different. Some people are more introverted, some are more extroverted. We all have different personal circumstances and the organisations that will be successful in attracting and retaining talent will be those that can offer their employees maximum flexibility. In developing our thinking around flexible working Telstra is developing six personas based broadly around our people’s different role types, their technology needs, communication preferences along with individual considerations, challenges and expectations. This is about identifying the right solution for each person in our workplace, not a one size fits all, so our people can choose to work in a way that best suits them. Managing across personas increases complexity and adds more challenge to how leaders must manage but when you get it right, the payoff is so much higher.

Second, the humanity of our people will re-shape our culture.

Workplace culture has changed enormously during COVID and all for the better. The usual shields of business – the clothes, the offices, the hierarchies that we sometimes hide behind – have been stripped away and we have all got a better glimpse into each other’s real lives. It has certainly been a great equaliser as we all get to see each other’s partners, kids, pets and homes. The connections are real, the links genuine. The businesses that will be successful in the future will embrace their humanity and make it the foundation of their culture.

And third, our technology, tools and property plans need to supercharge our ability to do our best work.

Operationalising the workplace of the future means drawing together the threads of flexibility, adaptability and technology. It is a cross-functional, cross-company task and Telstra’s leaders from property, networks, IT and HR are considering our infrastructure, technology, tool and skills requirements through the lens of our employees’ experience, needs and expectations. The businesses that will be successful in the future will be able to think through flexible working in all its dimensions, and bring it to life through technology.

A new normal

Not long ago the biggest catalyst for workplace change was advances in digital technologies and connectivity. Many were alarmed jobs would be replaced by artificial intelligence, automation or robots. Those things have not gone away but COVID-19 has taken the future of work in a totally new direction, a direction that is increasingly virtual and remote rather than physical and centralised, a direction where a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday workday (physically at the office, for many of us) is suddenly hard to imagine.

The “new normal” for work will be flexible, geographically dispersed, and offer a choice of a hybrid of digital and physical tools and spaces that are tailored to your role and your technology needs, preferences and expectations. Work will be something you do, not somewhere you go.

At Telstra, this concept of flexibility will include our office-based staff but also extend to the many thousands of Telstra people who work in stores, install or repair connections at homes or businesses, take E000 calls or provide other critical services at secure facilities.

When COVID first hit, we moved our 25,000 Australian-based office employees to work-from-home to get ahead of things. We did that in a single weekend, more or less without a hitch. That was nearly six months ago and most – myself included – have not been in the office since.

Video meetings are now standard at Telstra. In July, as just one example, we ran more than 8 million Microsoft Teams calls. Management meetings, Board meetings, team meetings are now virtual including this year’s Annual General Meeting – a first in our 160 year history.

It is hard to imagine a bigger disruption to traditional work practices and yet the appetite for this type of flexibility is extraordinary. A recent employee survey showed more than 60% of our people believe they are more productive working from home and, on average, they would prefer to work from home around 3 days per week, compared to an average of 1.7 days prior to COVID.

We introduced All Roles Flex in 2014 but it has taken this pandemic to fundamentally shift us from a workforce that sees home working as a nice-to-do to a permanent fixture in the work-life juggle.

The top reasons our people cite for embracing this change are no commute time, greater flexibility on working hours and more time for exercise and family. There are still challenges (issues like mental health and domestic violence are very real) and we recognise that some people will want to return to the office as soon as they can while others do not have the choice such as those serving customers in-store.

Before COVID we trialled an agent@home model for Australian-based sales and service consultants from our call centres. Now all consultants can potentially work from home, shifting the conventional thinking on customer service roles.

There is no way to know exactly what the world will look like a year from now so we must accept this is our new normal and prepare for it.

Humanity in all its colour

If work is like the blood that flows through our veins then technology and collaboration tools are the connective tissue. However, as vital as they are it is the purpose, values and culture of a company that defines who we are. Through COVID this has been enriched by the humanity which we are now seeing on high-beam.

In two weeks’ time it will be six months since I set foot in the office. I certainly miss all those informal interactions – the opportunities to bump into people in the coffee shop or the side conversation before or after a meeting. Their absence cannot be replaced by technology alone. We all have our own small rituals and COVID has enabled us to better understand their bigger role in our psyche. In uncertain times, rituals give us comfort and confidence.

Working from home has truly broken down hierarchies in a way we could never have imagined previously. Teleconferencing means we are bringing people into our homes every day and they are seeing us in a way they never have before – with all of our issues, challenges and vulnerabilities.

In our efforts to keep connected, we are also asking each other how we are in meetings – and actually stopping and listening to the answer. The simple question “How are you” during a health pandemic is no longer a polite refrain but a symbol central to connecting us and looking out for each other.

From these simple acts of humanity, mental health, safety and wellbeing are now a foremost concern in how we manage our workplace and evolve our culture. Providing a safe work environment has always been fundamental but the increased focus on mental health is rightly pervading our outlook and is a key component of our new normal.

We need to be part of a tribe, to feel connected to each other and something bigger, with a purpose. The opening of the window into our humanity during COVID only enriches this.

Supercharging our best work with technology

Telecommunications networks and digital technology have been critical during the lockdown period, and the acceleration of the digital economy is now not only crucial to a fast economic recovery but is supercharging our people’s ability to do their best work.

The basics are obvious: what are the connectivity, applications and tool requirements – in the office, at home and on the move, for voice, for video and online collaboration?

Others are more complex and can involve anything from identity management to cyber security and our property portfolios. These are all important considerations with critical consequences if not managed well.

Like other large organisations, we operate large office buildings in CBDs around the country, many of which are now either largely empty or much-reconfigured to accommodate social distancing measures.

Our employees have told us they no longer want to be there Monday to Friday, that they see themselves coming in around two days a week to collaborate, see customers, socialise and build relationships with colleagues and to learn. There are many ideas around how this might work, from modifying existing facilities to cater for collaboration to a “hub and spoke model” that puts more office facilities closer to where employees live, including in suburban or regional areas rather than centralised in the CBD.

But in the new normal, more deeply understanding our people means we can enable them with technology, connectivity and physical space options to do their best work where and how it suits them.

This is the new normal

I have been in the workforce for more than 40 years and I have seen how work and the workplace has evolved. I have seen how roles change, how some have disappeared and how new technologies have brought forward new thinking around productivity, flexibility and engagement. I have also seen many changes in the nature of what constitutes a successful company.

Even before COVID it would have been naive to think technology was not going to continue to drive changes in our lives and in our workplaces – the real issue then is how do we respond and how we prepare ourselves for the future.

What COVID is showing us is that we are at our best when our workplaces offer maximum flexibility, when they enable us to let our humanity into our culture and when they combine the power of technology and connectivity. When they do that we will create a workplace that not only survives the new normal but thrives.